Farke's advice for Barden ahead of red letter day

Daniel Barden of Norwich makes a save from a shot on goal by Maxime Biamou of Coventry City during t

Daniel Barden during his man-of-the-match performance against Coventry on the FA Cup - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Daniel Farke wanted Daniel Barden to fight for the number one spot at Norwich City. But perhaps the young keeper did not expect a Championship audition so soon after his starring role in the FA Cup. 

Farke confirmed on Friday the 20-year-old will make his full league debut for the club against Cardiff City, with Tim Krul unable to resume team training after his positive coronavirus test. 

Add Michael McGovern’s hamstring injury and opportunity knocks again for a youngster who was in goal for Bury Town against Felixstowe & Walton in the Isthmian League North Division on this same weekend 12 months ago. 

“He was fantastic in the cup and we hope he can show this consistency as well. If our number one and number two keeper is out then the number three must play,” said Farke. “It is about finding solutions, and then you have to back Daniel.

"The same way when we had no strikers available. These topics have been thrown at us all season and I totally trust this group to find a few per cent extra with togetherness and spirit.

"At Luton it was not down to him we didn’t reach the next round of the cup. He was the man of the match against Coventry.

"There is no guarantee you get consistency with young players but he has our trust. Of course he will play at Cardiff. Then if he is on the pitch we trust him to produce a good performance.” 

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City have 10 senior players unavailable, from injury to the impact of coronavirus to a rare virus for Marco Stiepermann. 

“After now seeing some experts the concrete diagnosis is Epstein Barr virus,” said Farke, with the attacking midfielder’s last appearance in the 2-0 home win over the Bluebirds before Christmas. “That has caused some long-term issues with his immune system.

"It was quite aggressive and that is why he felt all these symptoms in recent weeks. We have to build him back up for the next few weeks, but we can work with this diagnosis.  

Christoph Zimmermann of Norwich and Callum O'Hare of Coventry City in action during the FA Cup match

Christoph Zimmermann misses the game at Cardiff because of a hip injury - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

“Christoph Zimmermann is also out. He has a small muscle injury in his hip area. We hope to have him back for the Bristol City game. The diagnosis we got was 10 to 12 days.

"He has improved and he is already doing some individual work on the pitch. But the good news is Kieran (Dowell) took part in some of the training this week. He is not a topic for the starting line up but maybe a positive surprise for the squad.

"We are carefully optimistic.” 

Kiko Femenia of Watford and Kieran Dowell of Norwich in action during the Sky Bet Championship match

Kieran Dowell could be on the bench for Norwich City at Cardiff - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Cardiff rival Neil Harris labelled Norwich the best team in the division in the build up, but Farke insists flattery will not earn them a quickfire league double to maintain their advantage at the top. 

“It was a nice compliment from Neil. We take it and maybe you can’t argue because we are top of the table,” he said. “We had a dominant performance against them but the momentum can change pretty quickly.

"It is not important to be the best after 23 games, but after 46. There are top teams in this league and we have to keep going.   

“They have players like Kieffer Moore now available this time around.

"They have an unbelievably experienced coach on this level. Maybe they are not in the position they want to be in the table but they have the potential to be closer to the play-off ranks. They will be highly motivated against the league leaders.

"No doubt Cardiff want to show a reaction to the first game. We didn’t blow them away, we had to perform for 90 minutes.

"It will be no different this time around. We are respectful but fully convinced of our strength.”  

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